tv FOX 29 News Special FOX November 1, 2014 3:30am-4:01am EDT
tonight, a look at main stream marijuana. ♪ >> some call it the great green experiment, the legalization of marijuana. hello everyone i'm chris o'connell. in some form pot is now legal in more than 20 states, new jersey is one of them, pennsylvania may be headed that way. legal pot may not look at all like what you're thinking. not everyone agrees it's a good thing. to find out i traveled to colorado, the forefront of the legal marijuana movement. ♪ >> you macon fuse this place with an art gallery. john mccoy originally from upper darby thought he may have wandered into an apple store. but look a little closer. you'll see they're not selling smart phones. >> wow! never thought i'd see the day. ♪ >> that day was january 1st when recreational marijuana in colorado became legal for anyone 21 and over.
since then, the pot industry has been smoking. >> i'm about to take you into one of the first recreational pot shops in denver. ♪ >> this is the 3d cannabis center one of more than 340 marijuana dispensaries that have popped up in denver alone. after flashing my id, i was welcomed by billy, a bud tender. a pot connoisseur, if you will. >> there's smells, flavors. >> he's not talking wine, but weed. >> it's all full bud. >> high grade marijuana. each with a different name. >> we call it the presidential k u.s. h. >> and different effect on the body. >> it's a called owens curb this will be a very is he day tiff high for the body. that's a late afternoon early evening high. >> have you been here before. >> customers range from ball capped bartenders to teachers and politicians. >> as cannabis educator i take everybody by the hand from the connoisseur that's been smoking
for 30, 40 years to the person that just decided to try it because there's no risk now and they want to see what the talk is about. ♪ >> and that's just the beginning. much of what is sold here is edible marijuana. pot infused granola bars, truffles, cookies, even red swedish fish all with doses of thc, the active ingredient in cannabis. >> going into one of our grow rooms here this is our showroom. >> shops are required to grow 75% of what they sell in grow houses like these. >> our whole industry here in denver i'd say more than 70% of those buildings are occupied by legal cannabis growth. >> what is legal pot done for colorado? some say the social and economic implications are staggering. in the last six months, according to denver police, violent and property crimes are down 10%. there's a run on real estate and increase in jobs. then there's the estimated 30 to
$50 million a year in tax revenue. most of that going to fund local schools. >> we have more money for schools. we have more jobs. we have reduced crime. so where are we? we're in better place than we were before it was legal. >> diane runs a marijuana website devoted to women. she moved here from collingswood, new jersey, four months ago. she says the restrictive marijuana laws back east forced the move. >> if you regulate the system in way that understands that it's a market that knights needs to be answered to it will work. >> but some say it's not worki working. >> i think that you should as a state you should try very, very slowly. >> gina car bone with the group smart colorado is sending a warning to other states considering what colorado has already done. >> there's a big difference between decriminalization, legalization and full on commercialization. in colorado we've unfortunately done all three.
>> the group says legalization is sending the wrong message to kids. she says colorado has the highest pot use among teens. the children's hospital in denver has already reported six children who became seriously ill after ingesting edible marijuana. >> right now to have, you know, a piece of candy that's a bite sized piece of candy that has 10 servings of marijuana in it, it's sending people to the er. ♪ >> but for most in colorado, this is the new normal and for john mccoy it's about time. >> i think we're heading towards legalization in most of the country. for people like us, we don't do alcohol, you know, we think this is a much safer thing. ♪ >> but whether or not this will be what new jersey and pennsylvania look like in the future remains to be seen. >> now because of cases like those sick kids i mention the health officials moved into high gear in colorado this week pus pushing for tighter regulations
on marijuana edibles. colorado's health department wants to band items like pot cookies and gummy bears like these to prevent them from ending up in the hands of children. so health experts are working with dispensary owners and lawmakers on how to limit their sale. others however say labeling on pot products is the way to go. >> there seem to be a lot of, um, potential inability, um, to create a universal, um, identification of the products outside of the packaging. >> my recommendation we create a universal symbol that can be on the label that can be seen from anywhere. >> now most marijuana manufacturers say that universal symbol is too costly and won't stop kids from eating edibles. state lawmakers will have the final say in deciding what solution works best when they meet next year. still ahead on this fox 29 news special report on main stream marijuana, a new jersey family moves across the country
keep your kids from suffering? a new jersey family picked up and moved halfway across the country for easy access to marijuana for their three year old daughter. it is a controversial decision and some argue giving cannabis to kids is just too risky. but this family says it's a decision that's turned their lives around. a little fussy with her food vivian wilson is like most three year olds at the dinner table with one small exception. >> viv, want take your medicine. vivian is taking cannabis infused olive oil. >> this is vivian's primary cannabis medicine a strain called charlotte's web. >> medicine made from marijuana. >> this actually was a great batch. >> two syringes three times a day. >> vivian has a form of epilep epilepsy. it's a very severe form of epilepsy that does not respond really well to pharmaceutical. >> soon after she was born vivian started getting epileptic seizures some lasting for an
hour or more. vivian is really sensitive to lights and patterns and textur textures. vivian always had an eye patch on from the moment she woke up until the moment she went to bed at night. >> the pain was overwhelming. lots of tests, doctors and heavy narcotics. but nothing seemed to ease her pain. >> we found out very quickly, you know, early on in vivian's life that the pharmaceuticals were failing her and we need add plan b. >> her seizures got worse. >> pictures we looked at her from the past she's a sad faced kid. we wouldn't go anywhere. we were trapped in the house. >> the family from scotch planes, new jersey, heard from a friend cannabis oil had been proven effective in treating kids with vivian's condition. desperate for relief for her daughter, vivian's mom who works for a major pharmaceutical company gave cannabis a try.
>> before cannabis, vivian had tried seven or eight pharmaceutical meds and in my book failed them all. she continued to seize had no quality of life, couldn't leave the house n my eyes that's a failure. >> brian wilson made national news after confronting new jersey governor chris christie urging him to ease the state's rules on medical marijuana for kids. telling christie, don't let my daughter die. >> pleases don't let my daughter die, governor. >> christie sign the bill and vivian was able to medical a new jersey medical marijuana card she's the youngest in the state to have one. but because growers were still months away from producing this cannabis oil, the wilsons left new jersey, moved 1700 miles away to denver, colorado. >> we tried our hardest. but there's only so much activ activism you can take before you got to stop and say, well, i need to stop and cake care of my child now. >> the wilsons are part of a growing community called
marijuana refugees, moving to places like colorado and washington state where there's easy access to pot. >> governor christie is talking we don't want to be like colorado. you want to be like colorado. colorado is a working market. >> along with the special high fat diet -- >> she gets 4-grams of fruit with her meal. >> and three doses of cannabis oil a day. >> good job. >> the wilsons now say they have a new life. >> the first time we gave vivian thc she got a little stoned. she was happy, smiling and she didn't have seizure all day. it was the first time in a year and a half that i felt like her brain had calmed down. >> these days, vivian's eye patch is gone, seizures are almost non existent and the family is doing things they never thought possible just weeks ago. >> just this weekend, we went to red rocks amphitheater and it was 90 degrees and really sunny. we couldn't have even dreamed of doing that last summer.
she didn't leave the how last summer at all. >> the wilsons some day hope to move back to new jersey once the law catches up with their daughter's needs. >> this is about medicine. and if you're not treating and you're thinking some people need pain, you don't understand it. you need to get educated. you need to start listening to the people. >> part of this move wasn't just for vivian. it was for our whole family. we needed an improved quality of life and we absolutely have that now. >> new jersey does give children access to medical marijuana but that became law more than a year ago. however, experts say and critics say it is too restrictive and not helpful enough. in delaware, medical marijuana has been legal for more than three years, but not for kids and in pennsylvania well that is a long story. last month the senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to legalize several types of medical marijuana, but house republicans along with governor tom corbett oppose it. so the bill right now is stalled.
opponents unsuccessfully tried to make treatment available for children prone to these seizur seizures. that was more in line with what governor corbett said he would have wanted. but even so, a lot could change and very soon. while governor corbett opposes this bill, tom wolf his challenger in next week's election supports legalization of medical marijuana. stay tuned in pennsylvania. still ahead on this fox 29 special report, growing concerns about teenager and pot. most people who start smoking pot at the age of 16. the potential lasting damage from smoking pot just once week coming up. ♪
♪ >> welcome back to main stream marijuana. parents, you may be surprised to hear this. most marijuana users start smoking at the age of 16, and smoking pot just once a week if you're younger than age 25 can cause lasting damage to your brain say some doctors. fox's alex has the results of this latest research. brain power versus from person
to person. some recent research suggests those under the age 25 who smoke marijuana the least once a week are putting themselves at a disadvantage. >> the brain continues to develop till someone is at least 18 years of age, and so knowing that, that the brain is not formed, that's a particularly bad time to be taking substance that is we don't know enough about. >> dr. debra peel is a licensed psychiatrist with 36 years of experience. >> as everyone knows marijuana is being legalized in many places around the country now. now is the time to really get more studies out there. >> some findings were recently discussed at the annual convention of the american psychological association. according to the university of wisconsin milwaukee, the under 25 regular users showed cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, even a lower iw. >> people on both sides of this debate actually come down on the same side of this issue. >> jamie spencer is legal
counsel for texas normal the national organization for the reform of marijuana laws. >> of course, children shouldn't have access to marijuana. >> brain imaging studies of the regular users between the ages of 16 and 19 revealed abnormalities in the part of the brain associated with intelligence. >> it's potentially possible because the brain has not fully matured at that age. whether it occurs, at what doses, how potent the dose is would make a difference. >> the apa research suggests marijuana is likely more dangerous presently because some forms have higher levels of thc. the major psycho active chemical ingredient. >> if you leave it in the black-market you have no control over that. if you regulate it, you can make sure that thc content in marijuana is essentially all the same. >> some experts worry the younger users are much more vulnerable to the negative consequences of over use. alex, fox news.
>> next on main stream marijuana, aching for that rocky mountain high? well colorado is asking if you'd like a side of weed with your spa day. that's right. what legal marijuana is doing for the state's tourism industry plus, soda, chips, and now pot? where you can buy cannabis candy in all sorts of pot laced goodies right out of the vending machine. ♪
♪ >> people in colorado can now buy marijuana like you and i buy chips and soda in a vending machine. the zazz is the latest technology helping businesses sell the drug all customers have to do is slip in their driver's license first to make sure they're win ought years old. right now the products sold are cannabis infused lollipops,
gummy bears and all kinds of cookies. the company behind the zazz says it won't replace tra dig al workers, but it helps when dispensaries get crowded with customers. >> so where do you spend your vacation, the shore, maybe the poconos? well, some people are going to new heights on their vacation. custom limo tours, cooking and art classes. all involving, yes, marijuana. check it out. ♪ >> we were here on vacation for our anniversary. >> steve and wanda thought what better way to spend their romantic seventh anniversary vacation than visiting picturesque denver, colorado. >> wow. >> these love birds from seattle didn't come for the rocky mountains. they came to go shopping. for weed. >> figured while we were in town we'd stop by and enjoy some of the legal recreation. >> welcome to colorado's budding business of pot tourism. >> here you just kind of walk in, show them yourism d and buy
it. >> these days out of state tourists like this couple are flocking to denver's 350 recreational pot shops like this one on denver's 16th street mall smack dab in the middle of the city's busiest boulevard. right there next to the 7eleven. >> have you seen any people from philadelphia? >> i've seen tons of people from philadelphia. i mean, pennsylvania, new york, saz. >> i toured the recreational medicine shop a place where you can smell the bouquet of the latest high grade pot strains and read about the daily pot specials on a tablet. >> something called grape ape. that's what it looks like. >> but like many who come here this couple are shopping for edible marijuana products. from gourmet peanut butter cookies to colorful candies chocolate bars even massage oils. all infused with cannabis. >> the especially when you're out and about walking around for the neck five hours.
you don't need to find a place oh to smoke. eat a cookie and you're good to go. >> the customers may surprise you. young and old, blue collar to professional. >> it's awesome. i wish every state kind of did this. >> these women from wisconsin had the same reaction many had from out of state. >> awesome! i love it. >> some companies offer marijuana linked tours like spa treatments or mountain retreats. some hotels leave guests brochures on how much and where to consume their pot. but how is this free for all on marijuana affecting denver's inner cities? the people who live here? i took a drive to northeast denver to find out. that's where iran into pastor leroy thompson. ♪ >> we had prostitution. we had gangs, drug addicts. it was run for your life. >> thompson says he successfully spent years trying to get rid of the drug dealers out of his neighborhoods. now his grandchildren finally
have a safe place to play. he thinks recreational legalization of marijuana is wrong in god's eyes and bad for the community. >> two laws we must obey. god' laws and man's. god's law come before man's. >> but even opponents agree legal pot is now the new reality and in the seven months colorado has made lighting up legal, the state has brought in nearly $26 million in tax revenue much of it coming from out of staters like this couple. some think what's happening here may be a sign of what's to come in pennsylvania and saz. >> people seem to be supportive of it because they're realizing it's not interactive with everybody else's personal lives. it's not being pushed on other people. it's something people can enjoy in their homes. >> fascinating with the changes we've seen as a country as marijuana goes main stream. want to share your views with me, then reach out to me on twitter co connell fox 29. let's keep this conversation
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